A Quick Guide to Handling Candidate Rejection

No one enjoys being the bearer of bad news, however, as a recruiter, it is inevitable during the interviewing process. At the end of the day, not everyone can be successful, when applying for a role. With that being said it’s important to remember that you can still create a positive candidate experience even during the rejection process, as long as you follow a few simple steps. To help you with this we have listed several pointers below.

Provide prompt feedback

By procrastinating on providing feedback you are not helping either the candidate or yourself and apart from anything else it can be seen as disrespectful. A quick phone call to let them know they were not successful this time around will prevent them from holding out unnecessary hope and allow them to continue their job search without wasting any time.

They will benefit from receiving your feedback by being able to apply any advice given in future interviews so that they are in with a higher chance of being offered the role.

Additionally, just as a candidate will gain from understanding which areas they can improve upon for any upcoming job interviews they may have lined up it’s also helpful for you to request their feedback. By taking on board their thoughts and opinions on your current hiring process you will get a different perspective and be able to apply their advice when speaking to a new candidate.

Be honest and get straight to the point

There is no point in beating around the bush when it comes to handling an applicants rejection. By doing so you are only making them feel more anxious about the final decision.

Aim to be brief and explain what you need to in a sentence or so. Be sure to highlight the reason for the decision and always offer a few key tips for how they can improve their interviewing technique or the format of their CV. There is nothing worse than hearing you didn’t get the job and receiving no explanation as to why and how you can be better placed to be successful when next applying. Remember to include several positives, to soften the blow, after all, they have made it this far.

If you feel they would be right for a future role that may crop up then, by all means, let them know, however, make sure you avoid empty promises. Saying lets stay in touch with no intention of following up does not help anyone and isn’t the best way to build a good and honest reputation.

Refrain from Sending

Automating the rejection process via email can seem like a great idea, allowing you to save time on a task that you think will not benefit you.
However, there are several reasons why we would recommend avoiding doing so. Firstly, receiving news of rejection is already disappointing, but being sent a standard rejection email that you know has been sent to hundreds of others makes the candidate feel not devalued and disheartened with the process.
By not calling or sending them a personalised message you will also miss out on any useful feedback on your hiring process that the applicant might have offered during the call or in reply.

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